♪ in the crosshairs. japanese officials are trying to find out who ordered a chinese military vessel to zero in on one of their ships. japanese defense ministry officials are leveling some serious accusations at the chinese military. they say crew members on a chinese ship locked their weapons radar on a japanese vessel. they s the incident happened last week near the senkaku islands in the east china sea. japan controls the islands. china and taiwan claim them. defense ministry officials say last wednesday the crew of a chinese frigate directed fire control radar on a self-defense force destroyer. the ships were about three kilometers apart. the officials say the crew of a
chinese frigate directed the same kind of radar last month at a japanese helicopter. officers used fire-control raid tore lock on to objects at which miiles can be fid. the chinese did notaunc any missil. still, japanese defense ministry officials say the incident was extremely unusual. diplomats lodged a protest with chinese authorities. defense officials are trying to find out who made the decision to lock on. now, the u.s. state department spokesperson expressed her concern over the incident. >> actions such as this escalate tensions and increase the risk of an incident or a miscalculation, and they could undermine peace, stability, and economic growth in this vital region. so we are concerned about it. >> u.s. officials have been increasingly uneasy about rising tensions in the area. military analysts are trying to figure out what the chinese are trying to do. bonji ohara is a former navy
captain with japan's self-defense forces. he says the chinese sent a clear message. >> it is a serious thing. if the radar is the fire-control radar, can control the weapon, usually a battlhipas that kind of radar, one is searching radar, for navigation. one is for the targeting, control weapon radar. this is the fc radar. this time chinese side used this fc radar. it means they showed to the ship they have the intention to attack the japanese ship. so it is very serious and danger. i think the -- there are two ssib scenarios one is the chinese navy just
wanted to provoke the ship. one another is the chinese navy recognized the japanese ship's behavior, action was danger, so they wanted to warn the japanese ship. but in both scenario there is a perception gap. i think this perception gap is the most important we have to consider. both japan and china have to resolve the problem. because the -- these kind of perception gap will lead to similar situation even in future. so i think this time the japanese government will open this information, claim to
chinese side by diplomatic route. this kind of behavior is right because it can make china to recognize japanese side feeling or thinking way. so this is the first step of the mutual understanding. but i think both japan and china has to take action or behavior, try tonderstandiach other. north korea has edged up its threats, saying it will have to take a stronger measure than a nuclear test. it didn't clearly mention what a stronger measure means. the statement was released by the state-run korean central news agency. it condemns an ongoing u.s.-south korean joint military exercise conducted off south korea's eastern coast. a nuclear submarine has been deployed for the drill. north korea appears to be
preparing for the third nuclear test at the poongkye-ri test site in the country's northeast. meanwhile, the north has announced its leadership meetings. normally these are never reported internationally. observers say north korean leaders are raising tensions to pressure the united states to hold direct talks. french forces have taken control of the last stronghold in northern mali held by islamist insurgents. they moved into the west african country last month to help the government stop a rebel offensive. the defense minister said french forces and soldiers from chad had secured the city of kidal. jean-yves le drian said they killed hundreds of insurgents. malian forces have detained several rebel leaders. le drian said the operation will continue until the malian government controls all of its territory. then he said the french would hand over the mission to units from african countries. french foreign minister laurent
fabeu said he would consider withdrawi withdrawing personnel next month if the operation goes smoothly. >>the leader of syr's opposition coalition has offered to hold talks. the head of the syrian national coalition made the offer in appearances on two television networks. >> translator: we will hold talks if the government accepts a political solution. >> khatib described the humanitarian situation as dire. he said that left the opposition with no option but to negotiate with assad. he proposed negotiations with assad's deputy, vice president farouk al sharaa. people in gece aren't ppy ove how their lives have changed under a government austerity program. but government officials suggest they may have turned a corner. ai uchida joins us from the business desk. ai? >> yes, catherine, pay cuts, job
cuts hasn't been easy for the greek people, but now government officials say austerity measures aimed at balancing the budget are paying off. they announced the country's primary balance in 2012 turned to a surplus. finance ministry officials said last year's tax revenues excluding debt servicing costs surpassed spending by 434 million euros. that's about $590 million. the previous year's primary balance was in a deficit by about $4.7 billion. the surplus in the primary balance is a key milestone in greece's efforts to restore its fiscal health. but the greek public is largely unhappy with the government's measures. major labor unions across the country are calling for a general strike later this month. u.s. justice department officials have demanded $5 billion in damages from standard & poor. they say the credit rating agency caused losses to investors by giving high scores
to mortgage-backed securities. department officials said they filed the civil lawsuit against the credit rating agency. they claim the s&p knew the housing market was at risk in 2007. they say they inflated their ratings of loans and other financial products to avoid losing clients. >> s&p misled investors, including ma federally insured financial institutions, causing them to lose billions of dollars. this alleged conduct is egregious. and it goes to the very heart of the recent financial crisis. >> the officials said investors trusted s&p ratings and suffered losses of at least $5 billion and they want that money back. this is the first time officials at the justice department have sued a credit rating agency in relation to the u.s. financial crisis. well, let's get a check on the markets now. first looking at currencies.
the yen is sharply lower against other major currencies. that's because market players expect the bank of japan will take additional easing measures and that anticipation was boosted by news that b.o.j. governor shirakawa will step down before the end of his term. dollar/yen now changing hands at 93.67 to 68. meanwhile, the euro against the yen is being quoted at 127.24-25. moving on to stocks now, the nikkei stock average has risen above 11,300 for the first time in 34 months. that's because the weaker yen is lifting expectations that exporters will show higher profits. the nikkei index is currently trading at 11,313. that's a gain of 2.4% from tuesday's close. and all of the topix 33 subindexes are higher, with exporters leading the advance. the topix at 961, up 2.3%. to other markets in the asia
pacific. south korea's kospi up by a quarter of a percent. 1,942. in australia the benchmark index is trading higher by .9%. 4,925. tokyo clearly leading the advance. the world's third largest personal computer maker dell is going private. its founder and a consortium of investors will buy out the u.s. company for $24.4 billion. ceo michael dell established the company in 1984. he said he will acquire the company with an investment fund and in partnership with microsoft. the software giant wil invest $2 billion in the deal to forge closer ties with the pc maker. dell expanded his business through a produce to order system that required no inventory. his company was once the world's largest manufacturer of personal computers. but the popularity of smartphones and tablet computers
put pressure on his firm and its share price tumbled. dell says the buyout will allow him to turn his company around without subjecting shareholders to market fluctuations. the deal is set to close this summer. fewer drivers in ufrp have been heading to dealerships to buy vehicles lately because of the region's fij troubles. but the auto market in russia is in high gear. new vehicle sales last year topped 2.9 million units, closing the gap with the largest european market, germany. people from vladivostok, who work in the industry, have long lived in the shadow of those from moscow. but now they're taking a turn in the spotlight. nhk world's anastasia strebkova reports. >> reporter: in vladivostok about 90% of the vehicles on the road are foreign brand name cars including japanese. several vehicles used to dominate the market, fwhu cars
have been outnumbering used autos in recent years. a japanese affiliate handles car sales of toyota motor in vladivostok. it is projected a jump in sales, so the dealership renovated its showroom. it achieved its sales target last year, 2,000 units for the first time. >> translator: everything about japanese cars is good. they are comfortable and economical. if you want to buy a car, i recommend a japanese one. >> reporter: sports utility vehicles are big sellers. they're useful on the icy roads that are common in russia's far east. vehicles are aut $100,000 each but account for 80% of the region's overall sales.
>> the markets for new cars in many advanced economies are saturated. but there's still room to expand in russia. so i expect much more growth. >> reporter: to cash in on the growing demand in russia for brand name cars, automaker from the u.s., europe, south korea, and japan have expanded to russia. these companiesre also stepping up local production. this factory in vladivostok assembles toyota vehicles. the company is a joint venture between mitsui and company and russian auto maker solis. it plans to make 12,000 units a year. to have set out the plant toyota sent out more than ten engineers to vladivostok at its aichi
prefectu faory. local production in the far east has been given a boost with the russian government economic development plan. the far east region has rarely benefited from russia's economic growth. but officials now aim to use foreign investments in the auto sector as leverage. to help local manufacturers grow. to help the far east increase its sales across the country including the strong hold of moscow, the russian government has decided to do away with -- other measures were also introduced including special tariff exemptions on imports of automotive parts. last month russia's first deputy prime minister visited a factory that assembled toyota cars.
he inspected the assembly lines while production was under way. he expressed hope the plant would create jobs and help vitalize the local manufacture industry. >> tlad vos tok is already becoming an auto production hub. i wish you good luck. >> reporter: the new car boom, the focus is now on how far the entry of auto companies can stimulate the local automotive sector in vladivostok. anastasia stebkova, nhk world, vladivostok. >> that is the latest in headlines from busisses. the nikkei's up 2.6% this morning. i'll leave wityou a check on markets. ♪
weather authorities in china say the smoggy polluted air that's blanketed beijing and other parts of the country is having a clear impact on people's health. they say 40% more people than usual are suffering from respiratory diseases in some areas, particularly children. officials from the meteorological agency released data recorded from last month. they say a thick smog containing hazardous substances was observed for 14 days in beijing. it lingered for 23 days in the coastal profits of jiangsu. that's the longest period of time since records started in 1961. they say weak winds across china have let pollution from vehicles and factories concentrate. officials from the ministry of
environmental protection estimate serious air pollution has affected 600 million people, or half the country's population. transportation officials may be getting closer to figuring out what caused a boeing 787 dreamliner to make an emergency landing in western japan last they say the plane's main battershows signs of an uncontrolled chemical reaction called thermal runaway. officials with the transport safety board conducted an examination of the battery. they say all eight of its lithium ion cells were damaged by extreme heat. some aluminum and copper parts had melted. lithium ion batteries contain flammable liquid that allows them to store more electricity. experts say batteries are equipped with safety devices to prevent overcharging. investigators say they'll continue to examine the battery and the plane's electrical system to determine what triggered the thermal runaway. u.s. aviation authorities
ordered boeing to stop flying 787s last month. but company officials asked for permission to conduct test flights to investigate the battery problems. china is taking steps to strengthen ties with the rising economies of asean. the moves are part of china's efforts to rebalance its own development model. on tuesday it officially kicked off a project with malaysia building joint industrial parks to strengthen trade and investments. nhk world's chikashi takaoka attended the launch. >> reporter: the ceremony took place at kwanto city in the central state of taham. this is the place where they'll build the malaysia investor park. malaysia expressed hope the project would deepen relations with china, its largest tradinging partner. >> the industrial park marks a new chapter in the relationship
between our two countries. a relationship that has matured and blossomed beyond expectations. >> reporter: under their agreement the two sides will also build a second industrial park in china. the goal is to expand bilateral trade by mutually exporting products made at the two locations. the industrial park in china will be located in the port city of qinzhou in the autonomous region in the south of the country. china's gdp growth in 2012 was below 8% for the first time in 13 years as the european debt crisis weighed on global growth. rising labor costs have made companies less willing to manufacture in china. exports are suffering. the so-called factory of the world needs a new economic model to power its growth. >> translator: the two
industrial parks will complement each other, so both sides can profit. such cooperation is unecedented. >> reporter: china and malaysia see the venture as a win-win. china wants to boost exports to manufacturing companies in asean, and malaysia wants a bigger foothold in the vast chinese market. as china looks for ways to strengthen its own economy, it sees asean and its combined population of 600 million as a potential solution. china as tempts to strengthen ties wits southern neighbors are likely to continue. ikashi takaoka, nhk world, kwan-ton, malaysia. emerging economic powers still struggling with poverty. emboldened citizens still demanding democracy. the threat of violence. the push for peace. the shadow of conflict. get news and insight on south
and southeast asia every weekday live from bangkok, only on nhk world "newsline." internet users are casting doubt on iran's claim that it successfully returned a monkey from space. the iranian government announced last week a monkey it sent into space had returned safely to earth. officials said they had reached an advanced level of technology despite western economic sanctions. the officials released photos of the monkey before the launch and after it landed. postings on the internet question whether the monkey sent into space is the same one that came back. some wrote that a mole above the monkey's eyes had disappeared. the u.s. state department spokesperson commented othe matter. >> well, y kno there are a lot of questions about whether the monkey that they reportedly sent up into space and reportedly came down was actually the same monkey.
whether he survived. >> the iranian government hasn't yet made a statement on the mystery, but the associated press quotes an iranian official as saying, domestic media released a photo of the wrong monkey. time now to get a check on the weather. people in tokyo are looking out their windows and seeing a mix of vain and snow. mai shoji tells us what we can expect. >> hi. this morning we're seeing an on and off event of sleety showers and snow. this is due to the very cold, p upper cold air cresting over japan. moving from western japan into central japan. the mixed precipitation is affecting much of the region, including metropolitan region of tokyo. let's go straight to a video to show you what it was like. this was the scene in itabashi ward northeast of tokyo where five centimeters of snow is likely to fall into the afternoon hours. the higher elevations in the kanto regions are likely to see
up to 30 centimeters. around the peak of rush hour people were troubled with this white stuff during their commute to work. and some of our staff actually had to wait an hour in the station and on the platform bound to work because only 70% of the train services were running. now pulling back on it looks like this heavy snow, advisories are still going to be posted widely across central japan into the afternoon hours. even if you see the snow turning into rain there are still chances of heavy snowfall into the evening hours. finally the system will be pulling out bringing a high pressure system pressing over much of japan but another system is yet to come this one is developing over sea of japan, it will be covering much of northern regions and bringing some stormy weather. so let's enjoy the wearing while we can. as for now the system is affecting the korean peninsula with mixed precipitation. but in behind it chasing after it is frigid cold air due to the high pressure system, even cresting over the indo-chi
peninsula making things very clear but this likely to drop. temperatures significantly. beijing at 3, seoul at 1 for now, and tokyo at 5. but these temperatures are going to be dipping to about minus 9 in seoul on thursday. in the evening hours and into morning on friday minus 16. these are dangerous levels. so do cover up to prevent from frostbite. but on the other hand tokyo today will be up to 14 degrees. that's well above norm. and then dropping again on friday. so it will be a bumpy ride for usor the next three days. all right. here in the north american continent we're still talking about snow. warnings still in effect for labrador and also in newfoundland. these are conditions that will make the visibility near zero. snow is also affecting the great lakes region and central canada. we may see some heavy snowfall due to the heavy lake effects
around the great lakes region. but in behind it the frigid cold air is dropping temperatures down. the wind chill values are about minus 50 degrees. down to the south the warmth from the gulf of mexico is making this precipitation quite some heavy rain. and the thundershowers will be moving toward the east. this could ignite severe thunderstorms into the next couple of days. houston at 22. so you can see that it's pretty warm. but to the north things are very frigid. biting cold. minus 12 degrees for your high in winnipeg. and toronto you're looking at minus 4. new york right on the money at 4 degrees for your high on your wednesday. here's our extended forecast. ♪ ♪
they say the ship locked its weapons radar on a japanese vessel near the senkaku islands in the east china sea. defense ministry officials say last wednesday the crew of a chinese frigate directed fire-controlled radar on a self-defense destroyer. the ships were about three kilometers apart. the officials y the crewf a chinesfrigate directed the same kind of radar last month at a japanese helicopter. officers used fire control radar to lock on to objects at which missiles can be fired. the chinese didn't launch any missiles. still, japanese defense ministry officials say the incident was extremely unusual. diplomats lodged a protest with chinese authorities. and that concludes this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay with us.